“Come forth into the light of things. Let Nature be your teacher.” -William Wordsworth

This is Part 2 of my New Year’s story, which initially involved stumbling upon a baby seal that had some wisdom to bestow upon me. You can read that post here.

The baby seal wasn’t the only animal that seemed to be intervening on my behalf.

Our sweet dog, Rainie.

Rainie came to my bedside very early on New Year’s Day barking and frantic to get to the back door. I chased her to the beach just in time to see the sunrise. It was just the two of us (everybody else was sleeping)–which was odd because I was alone (this never happens!). We walked in the quiet (quiet never happens either!) except of the shrill sound of the seagulls and lapping of waves.

Sun waking.

Sun rising.

As the sun rose over the bluffs and warmed us, I couldn’t help but think Rainie had given me the gift of this rare moment. A prayer emerged in a mindless and effortless way. “May light shine on me and within me.” The image that emerged was receiving light/blessings and offering light/blessings to others from within me.

I found myself silently chanting it over and over.

Once again I had been given a gift from an animal spirit.

This is my 2014 mantra. I felt a strong kinship and deep gratitude to the animal spirits on this trip that seemed to be guiding me toward the enlightenment that I was seeking. They confirmed my need to pay attention to my surroundings and stay open to the wonder that surrounds us each day.

The moment I choose OPEN as my word for 2014 and consciously want to be receptive to magical moments, amazing unusual things start happening. I love life.

I’ll end with a few pics from our polar bear plunge and what has become a baptismal cleansing of sorts to wash off the old and welcome the new. We actually did two polar plunges this year. One in the ocean and one at Pine Lake later in the day. Both were equally thrilling and special (and freezing!) in their own ways.

Polar Bear Plunge into the ocean at Whidbey Island. Brrr...

Polar Plunge into Pine Lake in Sammamish, WA. Brrrr!